Teaching plan for the course unit



Català Castellano English Close imatge de maquetació




General information


Course unit name: English for Political Science

Course unit code: 362549

Academic year: 2021-2022

Coordinator: David Bridgewater

Department: Department of Political Science, Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law

Credits: 3

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 75


Face-to-face and/or online activities



-  Lecture with practical component




Supervised project


Independent learning






NB: this subject is not designed for students who wish to learn English and is not a course in English for beginners.

English is the main language of communication in the academic and scientific areas of the social sciences. Students must therefore learn the specific features of academic English and develop the capacity to apply the knowledge acquired in other course units in English. This requires additional work on comprehension and expression and practice in the drafting of simple texts in the general field of the social sciences.



Competences to be gained during study



Acquisition of methodological techniques (documentation, statistics, IT, etc.) for the analysis and study of political science, and capacity to produce applied research assignments, reports and appraisals.

(In any case, capacity to apply different competences in English to this discipline and the bachelor’s degree as a whole.)


Ability to apply quantitative and qualitative methods and adopt the appropriate multi-disciplinary approach to specific problems (in research, academic study, political decision-making, management, etc).

Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— Understand the main topics on contemporary politics in the United Kingdom and the United States.
— Be able to understand complex oral presentations and follow the argument.
— Be able to understand articles about current political issues and understand the reasoning of the author.
— Be able to follow political debate and discussion.
— Develop the capacity for oral and written presentation of material related to political science.

Referring to abilities and skills

Develop the ability to use English—active and passive—in order to:

— Gather data to support political analyses.
— Write and present short reports on specific topics set by the lecturer in English.
— Take part in discussions and defend ideas in spoken and written English.

Referring to attitudes, values, norms
— Reflect on one’s individual participation in the framework of the course and on the activities proposed.
— Gain an advanced understanding of the diversity and plurality of academic cultures at the international level, focusing particularly on the growing use of English by academics, students and researchers in different countries.



Teaching blocks


Block 1

1. General introduction to the course

Block 2

2. The UK parliamentary system: its history and functions; the House of Commons and the House of Lords

3. The UK electoral system and general elections in the UK

Block 3

*  4. The history and functioning of the US political system

5. The US electoral system

Block 4

*  6. The European Union and Brexit

7. Far-right in Europe

8. Alt-right in the US

9. Free speech and political correctness

10. Feminism, postfeminism and faux-feminism

11. After capitalism



Teaching methods and general organization


The methodology for this course combines different teaching strategies and learning activities. Therefore, the organisation of the activities to promote the learning process of the student combines:

— Lectures on the language used in each area covered throughout the teaching blocks, aimed at providing a structured overview of the key concepts in each teaching block.

— Class discussion designed to illustrate the connection between the theoretical content of the course unit and its practical applications.

— Guided reading and written assignments related to the different teaching blocks.

— Learning support through individual tutorial sessions (in the agreed timetable). The lecturer provides guidance on how to make the most of the time devoted to independent learning.

The whole course is taught in English.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Notice on assessment: this teaching plan is guided by current regulations of the Faculty of Law. The Academic Committee of the Faculty of Law approved on the session of 31 May 2016 the Academic and Teaching Regulations for Bachelor’s Degrees.

Link to the document (in Catalan): Academic and Teaching Regulations for Bachelor’s Degrees


Continuous assessment

Continuous assessment consists of:

— Attendance of face-to-face sessions (strongly recommended).
— The planned assessment activities, as described below:

a) A theoretical and practical activity consisting of an essay on the conceptual content of the subject. This activity is worth 50% of the final grade. The date of completion is established at the beginning of the course.

b) Active participation in class is also considered to this effect.

To be eligible for a final grade for the subject, students must complete the activity.

c) Final examination covering all of the course content, carried out face-to-face or online, depending on the current health situation. It is designed to show that students have achieved the learning objectives set out in the course plan (knowledge, skills and attitudes). The examination is worth the remaining 50% of the final grade.

To pass the continuous assessment, students must obtain a “Pass” grade (at least 5 out of 10) for the final examination. The final grade is calculated on a 0 to 10 scale and the minimum grade to pass the subject is 5.

For the final grade, lecturers could take into account other evidence of learning outcome and the student’s progress to improve the mark obtained in assessed activities and exams.

Repeat assessment

Students that have been absent to continuous assessment cannot be entered for repeat assessment.
Students who fail to pass the continuous assessment can repeat assessment of the final examination. The grade obtained in the repeat assessment exam is the final grade for the subject, shown in the student’s transcript, unless the lecturer decides to include other activities in the weighting.


Examination-based assessment

Students who wish to follow the single assessment sit a final examination designed to show that they have achieved the theoretical and practical learning outcomes envisaged for the subject. The exam takes place on the date established by the Academic Council. Students must obtain a mark of 5 out of 10 or higher to pass.

Repeat assessment

Students that have been absent to continuous assessment cannot be entered for repeat assessment.
Students who fail to pass the single assessment can repeat assessment of the final examination. The mark from the repeat assessment examination is the final grade for the subject in the student’s transcript.

Extraordinary call for end-of-degree examination

The end-of-degree written examination takes the same format as the single assessment exam.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


La bibliografia complementària, que el professor indica en el programa específic de l’assignatura i que també va lliurant a partir de l’inici del curs a classe o a través del Campus Virtual, consisteix en articles (generalistes o especialitzats), textos, webs, documents oficials etc. en anglès, relatius als continguts específics de les assignatures del conjunt del grau.

La intenció és que en aquesta assignatura l’estudiant pugui utilitzar amb seguretat textos i fonts sobre els continguts conceptuals, teòrics i aplicables, de cada programa de cada assignatura del grau.

També és font complementària seguir l’actualitat, els mitjans de comunicació escrits, audiovisuals o per internet que el professorat indiqui en el decurs del semestre.

McCARTHY, M.; O’DELL, F. Academic Vocabulary in Use : 50 units of academic vocabulary reference and practice : self-study and classrom use. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Enllaç al CCUC  Enllaç

CREME, P.; LEA, M.R. Writing at University : a guide for students. Maidenhead : Open University Press, McGraw-Hill Education, 2008.  Enllaç

LEECH, L.P.; J. MURRAY. Readings Skills for the Social Sciences. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1998.

Enllaç al CCUC  Enllaç

BEARD, A.: The Language of Politics: Routledge, 2000.

WALTERS, M.: Feminism: A Very Short Introduction: Oxford University Press, 2005.

NEIWERT, D.: Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump: Verso, 2017.

STOCKER, P.: English Uprising Brexit And The Mainstreaming Of The Far-Right: Melville House (Turnaround), 2017.

Frase, P.: Four Futures: Life After Capitalism: Verso, 2016.

Wright, T.: British Politics: A Very Short Introduction: Oxford University Press, 2013.

Valelly, R.: American Politics: A Very Short Introduction: Oxford University Press, 2013.